Let’s discuss recovery lessons and the World Cup. The World Cup is the biggest event in soccer (some would argue—with some justification—that it is the biggest event in sports) and brings some of the best teams from around the world together for competition every four years. The most recent men’s event took place in November and December of 2022 in Qatar, and the next women’s tournament is set to begin in July of 2023 in Australia and New Zealand.
For the United States men’s national soccer team, the 2022 World Cup was an important opportunity to get the program headed in the right direction. After all, the team had failed to even qualify for the 2018 edition of the tournament. So, getting back in the field was a key motivating goal for the team.
And they achieved that goal—and more. Without delving too deeply into the way the tournament works, suffice it to say that the USA team survived the group stage to become one of the final 16 countries in the competition. They then played an extremely exciting match against the Netherlands but lost 3-1 and were eliminated.
Despite having achieved an important goal—returning to the World Cup stage—there was also, of course, disappointment. The best two finishes for the US men’s team in the World Cup came in 1930—the first year of the event—when the United States finished third, and in 2010 when the team made it to the quarter-final stage. The 2022 team did not reach those milestones.
Still, the young USA team is likely to continue to improve, and it will be eager for a wonderful showing when the men’s World Cup comes to North America in 2026.
What in the World (Cup) Does This Have to do with Recovery Lessons?
Now, we understand that you probably did not find your way to this blog hoping for in-depth sports coverage, so you may be wondering what our point is. Our point is this:
Recovery from a substance use disorder—like any process toward any worthwhile goal—is a long journey, and setbacks may well be part of that journey. But even in the face of setbacks, you should never give up on pursuing your goal of lasting sobriety.
What kind of setbacks are we talking about? Well, there are a range of challenges a person in recovery may find themselves experiencing. You might be beset by cravings for drugs or alcohol and struggle mightily to resist those cravings. You might have trouble extracting yourself from toxic relationships that threaten your sobriety. And, of course, you very well might experience a relapse—or even more than one relapse over time.
When these sorts of challenges arise—and they will arise in one form or another—it can be tempting to give up. “Well, I tried to stay sober,” you might say to yourself, “but it turns out to be too hard.”
The temptation to give up is understandable but imagine if a soccer team took the same approach: “Well, we tried to qualify for the World Cup, but it turns out to be too hard.”
That is not what the US men’s team said to themselves, of course. Instead, after disappointment in 2018, they worked hard to make the field in 2022. While they didn’t accomplish all of their goals in that tournament, they can now set new goals for 2026.
And that’s how recovery sometimes goes. Maybe you get sober, and you stay sober for a while, but then you experience a relapse. You will likely be disappointed in yourself, and that is okay. The key is to use that disappointment as a motivator to try again rather than as a reason to give up.
Our Goal is Simple: Help You Get and Stay Sober
Wooded Glen Recovery Center in Indiana is staffed by a team of compassionate experts with the experience and commitment to personalized treatment to help you regain your sobriety. And we are equally committed to helping you maintain your sobriety by providing resources and support, addressing co-occurring mental health disorders, and staying invested in your sobriety after you leave treatment. We will be here for you as your journey unfurls—ready to help in case of a relapse and always cheering for your ongoing sobriety.
If you are struggling with drugs or alcohol, don’t try to kick the problem down the road. The time to pursue the goal of sobriety is right now. We are here to help.